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Vocal Pitch Correction Lesson and Story


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Now maybe some of y'all know this trick but I think it's worth a post anyway . . .


- recorded a compelling but pitchy female singer this weekend

- made the best comp I could but I still had to correct some notes by up to a semi-tone

- Liked the tone and intensity of the vox, wanted to keep them and furthermore, couldn't get the singer back in


OK, those are my excuses for using pitch correction. Now . . .


I turned to the Melodyne Plug which, after 1.5 hours of individual note tweaking let me down horribly. The bounced audio file contained several plosives on B's and P's and strange whirring noises at the start of phrases, some even in places where I hadn't touched notes. I tried to clean things up in Logic's Sample editor but couldn't get to the ones in the middle of syllables.


I decided to try Logic's own tools for correcting pitch. Logic's Pitch Correction plug sometimes worked for me if I automated it. But it just couldn't grab the notes fast enough and still sound natural, except in a few places. So I automated a few trouble spots with the bypass buttons.


Then, I turned to Logic's Pitch Shifter Plug and played with the cents slider and automated that. Although it doesn't do formant correction it's not that noticeable within half a semitone. In a few cases I raised the pitch by a semitone and then simultaneously dropped it by 30 cents using both controls in the plug. This plug will only do a maximum of +- 50 cents, so to get between 50 and 100 cents you have to do it that way.


The results were OK but I decided to go back and give Logic's Pitch Correction plug one more try. I left my bypass button automations intact but decided to play with a control in the Pitch Correction Plug that I had bever touched before . . . the detune slider.


It works like the Pitch shifter plug-in. It functions even with all of the notes bypassed. It sounds better than the pitch shifter plug. I set a knob on my Korg Pad Control to automate the detune slider and played through the song phrase by phrase, "playing in" the automation.


It took half an hour. The results sound fantastic and more natural than Melodyne. The vocal retains its compelling character. There's no artifacts at all. I was forced to use my ears instead of looking at orange or blue blobs on a musical staff.


I had previously thought that the detune slider only functioned for notes that the Correction plug "grabbed" and snapped to pitch. But in fact, it's a secret gem that works very well for correcting pitch itself.


- continuing to be amazed everyday with just what I can get done with only Logic's tools.

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Glad that worked out for you.


I gotta agree with you about Melodyne. For all it's ease of use, it really doesn't integrate well in the Logic world.


I spoke to one of the developers at AES and he tells me there's more and better things to come, but (I noticed a lot of developers do this) blamed Apple for their product not working well. Kinda left me a bit disappointed in their approach. I mean there are plenty of other products that work well in Logic.


I haven't used the full Cre8 or Studio, but the plugin has been fairly disappointing. Still, I struggle through and use it quite consistently. One word of advice I can give you is to Melodyne in small phrases. It's less glitchy this way. May help you for the future.


Good luck and thanks for sharing.

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The small phrase suggestion for Melodyne is a good one. So you do a phrase and then bounce it out as a small audio file etc?


I used Digital Performer's Pitch correction in the past and liked the results more than Melodyne . . . just imported the audio file into DP and worked on it there. But I now am on Intel and DP is a paid upgrade to get to Intel.


I'm wondering why Apple hasn't introduced this sort of graphical pitch correction to Logic since now it's being included in competitive DAWs. Alas, maybe Logic 8.1 is the time and place.

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dude, that sounds like Hell.


I correct pitch a lot, because I record a lot of mediocre singers. it's a necessary evil, but it is nice when you give them back a file, and they are really amazed at how good it sounds. they don't understand that work it takes to make it sound that way.


I always try to make the tuning sound as natural as possible. I've found that melodyne is great, if the singing is pretty close. but for me, if I need to really get in there, Antares Auto-Tune is the best. you can really get nitty gritty with it, BUT, you have to spend the time with it.


a typical track for me with melodyne will take 10 minutes to tune, With Auto-Tune it takes probably 30 minutes. It's harder to use, and very glitchy.


another problem with most pitch correct plugins is that they will shift the note to the wrong note because it's closer sometimes. Which makes it sound even worse. I've found with Auto tune, it's best to just go in graphically, and highlight the sections you wanna change.


I would LOVE for Logic to get a graphical pitch correction thing in the arrange like DP. I believe that was one of the top requests made for L8.

disappointing it didn't get it.


ps. when do you think the next update will come? months or years?

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I think in the long run, all DAWs are going to be running the same features. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if super DAWs appeared at some point soon to basically fill in all the gaps. Then, the only differences in applications would be in the plugin quality. Remember, we're only at the very beginning of all this development. Imagine where we'll be in 10 years... 20 years.


Assuming we're not all drowning from the Arctic ice cap melting on us. :wink:

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